Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Friday, April 11, 2014

Post started the first day of Spring.........

We drove to Live Oak and the Suwanee Music Fest on the first day of spring.  As brutal as winter has been this year, it certainly has been the most winter of winters it could be.  Spring put on her sunshine and cool but it was a beautiful and perfect day.  I love the blue sky of spring.  It is somehow softer, lighter, much like the tender green of the new leaves.  The dark leathery green leaves of the oaks turn brown at this time of year and shower down through the sky as the whole tree sheds its old suit to shake out its new green wardrobe.  Our winter was so wet and stayed so cold that few things had an opportunity to open and then knocked back by the cold like last year.  This year we are having days, maybe a week (hope, hope) where the weather is perfect.  The sun shines, the morning dawns cold but by 10 is comfortable and by mid day, glorious. 

The red buds have been replaced by the soft white flutter of Bradford pears and now the dogwoods and baby girl pink cherry blossoms.  The camellias are still blooming and the azaleas which slowly peeked out are now filling north Florida and south Georgia with pinks, white, magenta, coral, purple and red.  The white white of spirea stands proudly among the mounds of color circling the oaks and lining long drives.  The wisteria drapes from the highest tips of the trees down into the ditches with heavy clusters of purple flowers.  The air is thick with plant sex.  The yellow pollen finds itself into everything.  The heavy fog in the morning paints the streets with the pollen so that it looks like a child's painting.  It is absolutely glorious.

The music festival was wonderful.  We set up our tent and our tarp with my hippie tapestries hung around the sides to look like a colorful gypsy tent.  Bug backed the truck so that the tailgate was in the little gypsy tent and I could cook and make hot tea in the morning.  We rode our bikes around the park and smiled and blended into the world of tie dye, music, families, hammocks and the beautiful glorious spring weather.  We loved the Steep Canyon Rangers, Ralph Roddenberry, Grandpa's Medicine Tour and the Henhouse Prowlers. 

Steep Canyon won the 2013 Grammy for best Bluegrass music and oh my goodness they were amazing.  But not as well known, but even more fun was Ralph Roddenberry.  I know one of Ralph's sisters, Lucretia.  She was my yoga instructor at the Thomasville Y when I belonged to the Hope project there.  I got it with her.  I mean I finally understood.  I have taken yoga off and on since college.  I also have spent time learning various meditation techniques and all of that kind of thing that people love to make fun.  But let me tell you.  When I finally put that last piece of the puzzle together with Lucretia, "put all criticism, comparison and competition aside, this time is for you, be grateful for taking this time" was how she started our classes.  All of these lessons throughout my life have gotten me here, now in this moment. 

Ralph was playing in the Music Hall on Friday evening.  Bug and I rode our bikes over and walked from the pale spring light into the darkness.  But Ralph and band were already playing and the crowd was on their feet and the energy just wrapped around you and pulled you into this crowd of friends and family and groupies.  People were dancing and hugging, singing and swaying, jumping with joy.  This is a band that you would enjoy listening to one of their CDs because they are such talented musicians and singers.  But being there and seeing that this band is not a stage band.  No, they may perform on a stage, but they are totally focused on the people there, drawing them up to the stage into the light and music.  I scanned the faces half lit from the light on the stage and looked for Lucretia.  I saw her.  Well, I think I saw her.  It had been two years since I had last been in her class.  I didn't know if she would remember me, but she had made such an amazing impact on my life, I had to see her.  Yes, it was her, and I worked my way up through the crowd of joy, dancing and shimming all around me.  She was talking to someone when I reached her, but soon I had the nerve to touch her shoulder and yell in her ear who I was.  She looked in my face and grabbed my hair.  Hair she has never seen and she gently tugged it and with the child like joy of pulling on Santa's whiskers and finding them real, she yelled, "it is real!'  Yes, my hair is real, and I am alive, and I look like I could live forever and we hugged and yes, she had remembered me and was so happy to know I am still here.  Well, enough for now.  I briefly met Ralph, who in the middle of this full sweaty fervor of music he took a minute to really look at me and say hello.  He is as special and wonderful as his sister.  Both such very talented, kind people living life as best they know how.  It was perfect.

We did not get to see our most favorite group, Donna the Buffalo.  Friday night they played at 10:45pm, so no chance I was going to be there.  We had hoped to see them on Sunday after Ralph Roddenberry played, but it started to rain, and I was spent.  Completely and totally spent.  We were not sleeping well, because even though we live in a neighborhood we are not used to hearing drum circles, fire works and sounds of party and jamming until 4am.  We thought we had camped away from all of that, but, no.  We understand that people live for this, but for us, I need my sleep and after a couple of nights of no sleep we were ready to head home and sleep in the dark quiet of our own bed.  I hope that I am well enough to go again next year.  It is such a special place and time. 

I am trying hard not to start clicking things off, like, last time at concert, last spring garden planted, last trip to Daytona.  No, these may all end up being true, but I would rather enjoy the moment for the moment, without the pressure of giving it a title.  And who knows what all I still will be able to experience.

Peace on Earth.  I am getting it.  Ever since our trip to Daytona and then to the Music Festival Bug and I have shared a connection that I love.  It makes me tear up just thinking about how far we have come.  We met a little over two years ago.  He moved into my yard "campground" two years ago this past week.  Of course we were married a year ago this past month.  It is hard to explain but I think it is gratefulness.  We both seem to appreciate each other more and therefore accept each other more as we learn what I can accomplish and what can we accomplish together.  Peace on Earth.  When gratitude replaces resentment, in yourself, about yourself and others, it is possible.

We got home Sunday evening from the concert and it would take several days to get my internal battery recharged enough to stand up.  But first I had to go through a crazy fit of vertigo.  I have always been gravity impaired, but for these few days it was like there was no gravity and yet I kept falling down.  It was like my feet were freed of gravity but my head was not so I kept landing on my head.  I finally gave up and just stayed laying in the bed.  The room spinning my stomach revolting. 

Then I started the steroids Dr. M wanted me to try to take the swelling down from my hands, joints and knuckles.  It has helped, but I can't sleep on this stuff and it makes my stomach flip.  I loose weight, I am miserable and afraid to leave the house for fear that my stomach will need to empty itself in the most difficult way at the most difficult time.  A few more days and I will be done.  Hopefully I can start sleeping again.

Wednesday Marty flew in from North Carolina.  Marty built his plane.  My honey helped build the motor.  Marty and his lovely wife Shelia are so special to me.  Marty stood up for Bug at our wedding, and they have known each other for a very long time.  They first became friends because they were both married to women they had met in Spain.  Now they are both married to woman from America.  Once again these two amazing men have married women you are very fond of each other. 

Marty was on his way to Sun and Fun Fly In down in the Lakeland area, but he stopped by to stay with us so that he can help with the dog's fence.  And work they did.  They got all of the horse fence up, cleaned the garage and generally worked and worked and worked themselves to exhaustion each day.  I cooked and is my normal I swing from 5 star restaurant food to inedible dishes.  I cooked a salmon and shrimp in parchment, I made chicken and yellow rice, Cuban style and I made enchiladas.  I cooked breakfast, but they never stopped for lunch.  I would take them things to drink, maybe even some snacks, but they were focused on their tasks.  Time flew by and before we knew it Marty was ready to head down to Lakeland.  I had enjoyed our conversations in the evening.  Marty and I have a lot in common and he is a very witty dry sense of humor guy.  I get his puns and we laugh and moan over them.  We missed not have Shelia with us, but if we can't have both of them, at least we had one of them for a few days. 

We drove Marty up to Thomasville to their beautiful little airport and Marty called us when he got to Lakeland.  We had not even gotten home from running our errands.  I also asked him to call when he got home to Shelia.  I know it is silly, but he is one of my precious loved ones, and I wanted to know that Shelia had him home safe and sound.  I really appreciated that he did not blow off my silly concerns, but instead just made a call.  Shelia's birthday is coming up later this month.  It is a big one and we really hope we are able to go up and celebrate with them.  Such sweet precious friends.

Spring flowers have faded in the drier and warmer temperatures.  The azaleas in our yard were picture perfect for about a week.  The tung flowers now fill the trees with their peach throated glory.  I am not sure what is so special about these flowers, but each year I am in awe when they bloom. 

So much is happening.  Life is wonderful and fast and slow and overwhelming.  My pain has become increasingly difficult.  A lot of that problem is that although I am prescribed 1 - 2 every 4 hours, if I take 2 whole ones a day for more then a few days, even 12 hours apart, I start having stomach issues.  No matter how much pain I have learned that 1/2 pill 12 hours apart is the best I can do.  Taking more is wasteful because my stomach will empty itself repeatedly when my system reaches its maximum load of medication.  I would rather learn to live with the tightness in my chest, the pressure, the discomfort then to spend the rest of my days sitting in front of porcelain. 

I did manage to get part of my spring garden in.  The tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, strawberries, asparagus, onions and sweet potatoes are in.  I have my seeds for the squash, beans and cukes and a few more things I want to grow.  I am planning on planting sunflower seeds and grow beans up them.  I love gardening, but mostly I love figuring things out.

Bug and I headed down to Gainesville Wednesday.  We went to the Florida Museum of natural History and Harn Art Museum.  We walked through the butterfly garden and watched the jeweled beauties as they floated and fluttered over our heads, at our feet and seemed completely oblivious to all the people.  The hum of oohs and aahs rose and fall with the sound of cameras whirring away.  A sense of peace and wonder fills me as I watch the glory of the rain forest, the twittering and chirping of the little finches as they dart in and out of tropical foliage.  Memories flood me from when I lived on Pine Island and my yard looked like this garden.  All summer long the flutterbyes would float among all the plants I nurtured there.  Neighbors would bring their grand children down to play with the chickens, dogs, cats and the butterflies.  My yard then was always overflowing with flowers and animals and love and joy and I can not wait until I give that same feeling to our place on Casa Bianca.  I have worked to put that feeling here at Labrun.  This place already had a feeling of peace for me, and I have tried to respect that natural beauty and work within it.

We had a wonderful little trip away.  One we really needed.  Monday and Tuesday had been break down days.  I was just overwhelmed with pain and emotion.  Poor Bug struggles so hard to guess and understand what I am going through.  The biggest problem is so am I.  I have no idea how terse I can get when I am trying to hold on and tamp down the pain and emotion.  We both do our best.  We love each other dearly and it helps both of us try to get through the bad days.

He took me to my favorite restaurant in G'ville, Chop Styxs.  It is an Asian fusion place with a thorough menu and I love everything.  Bug enjoyed his meal okay, but his dish was not his favorite.  We went to Goodwill's and I bought clothes.  Clothes that fit me right now.  I need to go through my closest again when we move and give away all the clothes that 2 years later are still too big.  I bought bright tropical colored clothes.  One dress with a purple blue iridescence and little flowers made from seed pearls for the straps.  I have no idea when I will ever get to wear this dress, but I just loved it. 

I am starting to figure out how to go with out a bra.  This is not rebellion or a fashion statement.  It is simply that bras have never been comfortable, but it is a question of being able to breath.  I can wear a bra for a short time, but too long and the pain gets to the level of being sick to my stomach.  Not good.  I have found that going back to my hippie clothes and they are cut so that I can go with out a bra and it fit in the style of the clothes.  I have bought some camisoles and pulled out my old fashion slips.  They do not do anything to enhance my breasts, but they do give another layer of clothing, and often times as long as it "looks" like I have a bra on, that is acceptable. 

When we got home yesterday we just took it easy and watched the Masters first day.  Today we had wanted to go out on the boat, but my pain level was already around a 7 and as much as laying on the front of the boat as we drift through the sunshine and the dappled light from the oaks, palms and other lush foliage hanging onto the very edge of the rivers.  But I knew better.  Instead I went to bed and slept until mid afternoon.  I have so many things I want and need to get done, but pushing too hard backfires.

I have been running through such extreme emotions lately.  I have danced in the spring light and stick my hands up to my elbows in dirt.  I have laid in pain breathing through it.  I have felt so much love and affection from my dear sweet honey.  I am more and more confused on where I am in this process.  Syd, one of the people who reads this blog and has such wonderful insight on life commented that he had a friend who also has non small cell lung cancer.  Is it the same as mine?  I have no idea.  But I do know I would love to be able to talk to him.  I would love to know where he is in the process, how his life is changing.  I think he did comment and I would love to know if that was him, and I hope that if he would like to talk to let me know how I can contact him.  I know I have a strange way to dealing with this little c.  I remain horrified that people who do not know me still refer to living with cancer as battling.  That fits most of the people I have met with some type of cancer.  But it goes against everything I believe.  I feel the changes occurring in my body from the cancer.  It does not feel malicious, just efficient.  cancer is like weeds, it does not try to kill others, weeds, like cancer are just more efficient of making use of the resources then what was there.  Weeds can push out stronger plants, but simply out living the other. 

Is my body trying to evolve into something else?  Or should I look instead at the theory that nature is always moving toward chaos?  I don't know, but my thinking, my living, my very breath is changing.  I still enjoy figuring things out and right now I am working on ribbon weaving.  This Sunday is the garden circle and then the following week is the spring garden luncheon.  Our circle is doing the ways and means and I have made some weaved ribbon sachet bags to sell.  I will also dig up some of my gingers also.  I would love to also plant some tiny pots of violets to sell.  But right now, I am going to go rest again. 

Life is good, but changing
I can not say I am being the best I can be, but I will just keep trying.



  1. Has anyone spoken about patches for the pain? They might not upset your stomach so much. I think that it is just imperative that your pain is managed to the best of medical ability and I am certain that there are better answers. If you are to live your life to the fullest at every moment, you need to not be in pain. Please talk to the doctor about this and be honest.
    Loving you.

  2. Thanks, Kathleen. I believe my friend is going to forego more chemo. I hope that he does email you. I told him about your blog.